A sticky project

13 12 2011

One of the things I have discovered in the last couple years is the Italian fruit cake called panforte. It is delicious. So good. Especially with chevre. Mmmmmm… And it’s f’in expensive! So last year I took a try at making it myself and it turned out lovely:

So I made it again! It’s baking in the oven as I type.

The recipe is not complicated (there are a ton of them on the web) but it is something you have to plan for because there is 1 part where you really have to be on the ball and work quickly. Here is my version:

Panforte

  • 3 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (or other dried fruit of choice)
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried dates (or other dried fruit of choice)
  • peel of 1 lemon, pith removed, finely chopped
  • 2 cups blanched and toasted almonds
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (which I didn’t have today so I skipped it – no biggie)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey

1st, be sure that your spices are relatively fresh. This is a spiced cake and if they are at all stale it will be unexciting.

Start by melting the chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan with water or in the microwave. I melted mine in the microwave today and forgot to stir between 30 second intervals and it got burned. Then I had the bright idea to scoop out the burning chocolate with my finger. Idiot. See the blister forming at the base of my first knuckle?

Anyway, so melt your chocolate and set it aside. Butter the bottom of a tart pan with removable sides (or a cheesecake pan) and layer with rice paper or parchment paper.

Mix your fruits, nuts, spices, flour, and cocoa in a big bowl.

Stir the honey and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil; without stirring wait until it gets to 240 degrees. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

Now! Quickly mix the chocolate into the nut mixture, and then even more quickly mix the sugar and honey in. Rush to put it in your prepared pan and spread it all around using a spatula or your hands (but don’t burn yourself). Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until the edge starts to get little air bubbles that stay, just like pancakes. Let cool for a bit, remove ring of tart pan and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool all the way, slice into wedges, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, and keep in a cool dark place for up to 3 months. This mails very well.

Some people eat it as a cake, but I prefer thinly sliced slivers with goat cheese. It’s super sticky and thick, so I don’t really get the cake thing…

Btw – at the store, this stuff sells for about $14 a wedge? At home, it’s not much cheaper at about $8 per wedge if you source the ingredients locally, which is what I do because I’m a nerd like that.

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3 responses

13 12 2011
Alison

You can talk about this cake shit all you want. I KNOW THE TRUTH ABOUT THE BURN.

😛

13 12 2011
erlthegirl

You are HIGH-larious.

27 01 2012
Aneesa

Making this as soon as I get home!

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